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IB (unnamed) on WMG bidders

WHO WILL CLOSE? The bids are all in for Warner Music Group, and it’s up to Goldman Sachs VP Michael Ronen to analyze them and sift the best deal. That involves who is most likely to pass regulatory and who can really come up with the financing to close. All bidders have signed nondisclosure agreements to not discuss their offers with anyone. At this point, most observers believe that some of the interested parties will partner up to do this deal together and divvy up the different pieces of WMG, including Warner/Chappell. Many believe there won’t be a successful closure unless various bidders are allowed to jointly try to make it work. Insiders still believe the favorite to close is KKR/BMG, despite the reported top $3 billion offer from Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Companies for the full company. Meanwhile, the rank and file at EMI are pulling for BMG to win the auction for WMG, thus taking them out of the running as a would-be buyer when Citi gets ready to put it on the market. Most at EMI see a dim future for themselves under a successful BMG bid for their company. More to come. (4/12a)

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